Here’s Why People Are Obsessed With Popping Pimples

You really shouldn’t pop your pimples. Dermatologist Dr. Michael Olding warns that if the pimple pus “is not easily extruded with a little pressure, you could force it deep and spread the extent of the inflammation, and even cause permanent scarring and pitting of the skin.” But even knowing this, many would still pop their pimples– they just can’t resist. It’s kind of gross– so why do we want to do it so badly? Val Curtis, a professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine explains,”There’s a group of people, and I’m one of them, who are pickers and scratchers. We’re people who are particularly sensitive to external parasites and disgust.” He says this disgust is what leads “pickers” to want to pinch away their pimples, and also what makes us shy away from filth. He adds, “Squeamishness is a useful evolutionary adaptation because it keeps us from eating or touching things that could make us sick.” As for why we like videos of other people getting their pimples popped, Paul Rozin, a professor psychology at the University of Pennsylvania says, “We get pleasure out of the fact that our body is telling us no, but we know the thing isn’t really harmful.” This applies to many things, from riding roller coasters to eating spicy peppers and even listening to sad songs. Oh, and experts say it’s really ok to pop your own zits as long as the pimple is “ripe” and the skin keeping the pus contained seems to be thin and strained.